Picture of Ireland: Commuting in 2011


Major changes in work travel patterns in Ireland in recent decades mean long-distance commuting is now a daily occurrence for a large proportion of the workforce.

Based on the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) Census 2011 figures, about 8.6 per cent of workers now spend more than an hour commuting from their residence to their place of employment. The highest percentage of long-distance commuters are in Wicklow, Meath, Kildare, Laois, Fingal and Westmeath. More than 12.5 per cent of the workforce in these local authority areas have a daily return commute in excess of two hours.

The location of employment opportunities has a natural urban bias. The five cities (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford) account for 45 per cent of all job locations in the country. Dublin is by far the biggest employer, with more than half a million people employed within the four local authority areas. As such, it has a large commuting footprint. Practically all of Cos Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth have high levels of employment interaction with the capital. The commuter belt also extends to areas close to urban settlements such as Gorey, Carlow, Portlaoise and Mullingar.

Aside from the dominance of cities as the main employment destinations, larger regional towns also act as key employment destinations with many having more localised commuting catchments.

Ennis, for example, employs much of the workforce residing in Co Clare but has little interaction with workers from outside the county boundary. The proximity of other large-employment destinations, such as Limerick city and Shannon, also results in lower rates in the southeast of the county.

View the Picture of Ireland map series at airomaps.nuim.ie/pictureofireland.

View the AIRO/CSO Urban Area Employment Catchments at cso.ie/en/census/

Ordnance Survey Ireland Licence EN 0063512 © Ordnance Survey Ireland/Government of Ireland. Data from CSO Powscar, 2011. Produced by All-Island Research Observatory. Not to be reproduced without permission from AIRO

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